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France vs Germany - World Cup preview and team news

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By Stephen Donovan

Friday 04 July 2014

Two of the four remaining European sides meet in the first of the quarter-finals at the 2014 World Cup, as a revitalised France take on a Germany team which is aiming for its fourth consecutive appearance in the semi-finals.

This is the first competitive match between the two nations for 28 years, while their most famous encounter came back in 1982 when West Germany - as it was then - triumphed in a penalty shootout.

This time around, hostilities are renewed with France in a more confident mood than they have been for several years. Their World Cup winning captain of 1998, Didier Deschamps, has inspired a much more unified group of players at this tournament, and so far they have been among the most entertaining sides to watch, hitting 10 goals in their four matches thus far.

They initially struggled to make a breakthrough against second round opponents Nigeria, and occasionally looked in danger of crashing out, only for Paul Pogba’s header to settle the nerves with 10 minutes remaining, with an own goal securing their progress in the dying stages.

After their struggles of recent years, reaching the semi-finals in Brazil would be a massive achievement, and they now face their biggest test so far against a Germany side that struggled past Algeria in the last 16. Eventually, Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil took them through, but they are yet to show their best form so far in the competition.

However, they still have Thomas Muller, and if he can continue his remarkable World Cup scoring record, there is no reason why they can’t win it for a fourth time. They come into this tie as favourites, but France could be confident at getting at their defence.

France have Mamadou Sakho back available after he recovered from injury, while Deschamps may choose to select Antoine Griezmann after the impact he made against Nigeria.

Defender Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup for Germany after being injured against the Algerians. Seven players have suffered with flu-like symptoms, but boss Joachim Low insists they will be fit to play a part.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on France vs Germany

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